Facts and figures

  • Founded
    ASTRON is the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy. It was founded on 23 april 1949.
  • Mission
    ASTRON's mission is to make discoveries in radio astronomy happen, via the development of novel and innovative technologies (e.g. for the next generation radio telescope the Square Kilometre Array), the operation of world-class radio astronomy telescopes (the Westerbork telescope and the LOFAR telescope), and the pursuit of fundamental astronomical research.
  • Governance
    ASTRON is set up as a foundation under Dutch law. It is also an institute of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The General Director of ASTRON reports to the ASTRON board and to the General Director of NWO. 
  • Staff
    ASTRON currently employs about 160 staff. In addition, it also hosts JIVE (the Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe) and the NOVA IR/Optical Group. In total about 220 people work at ASTRON's HQ in Dwingeloo. 
  • Turnover
    Due to its main objectives ASTRON is a non-profit organisation.
  • Funding
    ASTRON is primarily financed by NWO. Secondary funding sources include the European Commission, the Dutch government, and other sources of regional funding. Our annual budget (2008) was 16 MEuro. 
  • Core activities
    Fundamental research in astronomy and technical R&D, construction of instruments for radio telescopes, operation of radio telescope facilities e.g. the Westerbork telescope and the LOFAR telescope. ASTRON is a major player within the international radio astronomy community and has many links with other research organisations, industrial companies and other relevant partners, at local, regional and (inter)national levels.
  • Valorization
    AstroTec Holding B.V (ATH) facilitates the transfer of innovative ASTRON technology to the market place, in collaboration with regional partners and other major industrial players. ASTRON's industrial liaison group, the Bureau of Technology Transfer, is formally a part of the Research and Development Laboratory. ASTRON also develops and markets hard- and software prototypes and products on request or as spin-offs of in-house developed products. ASTRON is also a provider of technical courses on request for third parties.
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